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your kitchen disaster

October 8, 2010

Share your worst kitchen moments here.

We’ll keep this live all day. Maybe tomorrow.

When has everything gone wrong for you at the stove? When did a big party blow up, and not in a good way. When did you think about throwing in the towel, literally?

Share the sad below.


From → wallowing

  1. I started working in high school in fast food. A Taco place. It’s where I made my bones in the food industry. My biggest disaster? heh. I got the task of filling hot sauce containers one day. It came in a huge 10 gallon container and I attempted to carry it myself . Back then I was just a wisp of a thing and could barely life the bucket. I got it about waist high and then lost it. It fell straight to the floor, did not tip over, yet inertia having its place in physics, took over. Soon I was covered head to toe in hot sauced. A great wave of hot sauce. I walked out of the cooler and my boss told me he’d give me $5 to go lay in the street. I climbed in my little VW bug covered in hot sauce to go home to change and return to work.

    Return to work!!?? yes, the food bug bit hard and I’ve been in it ever since. Thank goodness not in fast food though.

  2. A few years ago I wanted to make a nice dinner for Valentine’s Day for my hubby. I thought I’d make baked stuffed lobster. I had the recipe and everything. It was going to be so romantic. My mom swore to me the store would kill the lobster for me, so I wouldn’t have to worry about that part. Well, for some reason in Santa Monica, CA there’s a law that they can’t kill the lobster they’re selling. No problem, I thought. I have the Joy of Cooking at home and they give step by step instructions on how to do it.

    So, I get home, get the lobster on the counter. Take my nice big kitchen knife and stab him behind the eyes like the cookbook says. Pretty sure it’s dead, I proceed to slice the lobster down it’s back so I can stuff it. This lobster must have been on steroids because it proceeded to stand up and walk across my kitchen counter with the kitchen knife sticking out of his back. I ran out of the kitchen screaming and crying, told my husband I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t kill the lobster. So HE boiled them instead.

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink

      That’s one hell of a visual!!!!

    • I see a lobster on your Rainbow bridge! I would have done the same thing!

    • That is hilarious! And now I’m never going to kill a lobster.

    • ROFLMAO! And this, boys and girls, is why I can’t eat anything I’ve ever known personally, even in passing.

    • JeannieOnMaui permalink

      That is the BEST Kitchen disaster story I have ever ever heard! I have never laughed so hard trying to picture this! You win hands down!

  3. Seriously, here it is:
    For my boyfriend’s birthday the first year we were together (aww, he was just a pup, turning 24 then!) I tried to make white gazpacho. In an apartment I’d lived in for 3 weeks. With a blender bought from a drugstore.
    It was a situation. A BIG ONE.

    The veggies burned in the oven.
    The blender started to smoke. Then it cracked down one side. Then it started SPEWING smoke. A BLENDER.
    The soup, miraculously, still tasted fine. The blender?

    A casualty of war.

  4. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink

    Our neighborhood had a block party when I was a teenager and my father volunteered my mother to make cole slaw even though she’d never made it before. She enlisted me to help by shredding cabbage on a box grater. I shredded my fingernail into the cabbage and you know, fingernails and cabbage are pretty darn close in color. We never did find the fingernail shred but the cole slaw did get served.

  5. Usually bad culinary things happen when i’ve been drinking… i tend to get “creative”… chocolate sauce on pasta. well, that might be an exaggeration… but it gets pretty bad.

  6. Every day in my kitchen is a kitchen disaster. I have no walls, counters, cabinets, real floor or other such luxury items in my kitchen. My husband and I are renovating an 1894 house on a tight budget – surely the most brilliant decision we’ve made in a long time. For over a year, we cooked on a campstove. When we finally got an oven, I baked for two weeks straight I was so excited. I roasted every damn thing I could get my hands on. Several of our cats barely escaped with their lives.

    I could tell you tales of spiders falling into soups, plumbing horror stories and plaster dust coating every inch of space in our kitchen. However, my favorite recent memory is of trying to make Christmas cookies this past winter. I was bundled up in long underwear, a turtleneck, a fleece jacket, hat and fingerless gloves. I attempted to cream butter & sugar together and I could not do it. I brought the bowl into our den to warm up, bitching up a storm that it was cold enough to hang meat in our kitchen. My husband went into the kitchen with our outdoor thermometer. It was 38 degrees. I briefly thought about renting out the space to the mortuary down the street but after thawing out, decided that would interfere too much with my blog photoshoots.

    Last, but not least, HGTV often works on homes in our neighborhood because their headquarters are in Knoxville. We have been turned down several times because there is TOO MUCH WORK to be done to our house. I take a curious amount of pride in that.

  7. Last years Thanksgiving, my father insisted on hosting and everyone flying in for dinner at his house. Problem was he didn’t have a girlfriend at the time, and no one on his side of the family can cook – except me.

    He naturally assumed I would be handling the dinner and failed to understand that I would be driving 5 hours and getting in about 3am the morning of. And how much prep work a thanksgiving dinner for 15 people actually takes.

    Never fear, he had a plan B – get everything from Gelson’s and just heat it up at home. Okay.

    Apparently he, or any of his relations, was not aware that you are not supposed to put plastic deli containers in the oven.

    The house reeked of burnt plastic, the food inedible. All the kids poked at their plates and then crashed my aunts thanksgiving.

  8. Have I ever mentioned that in Home Ec class in high school, I managed to burn fetuccine noodles for my group’s fettucine alfredo? I’m not just talking a few noodles stuck to the pan… Completely dry pan with black, charred fettucine permanently attached to the bottom. It’s amazing I ever learned to cook!

  9. When we got engaged, two of our good friends made us a lovely celebratory dinner so when they got engaged a few months later, we of course wanted to return the favor. We go and get a lovely leg of lamb at the store, and the (now) husband proceeds to coat it lovingly with herbs, places it into a Pyrex and it starts to cook.

    By this point we’re all in the kitchen, having some champagne and just hanging out. Eventually, the time comes for M to add some water to the pan as per the recipe instructions. He opens the oven, pulls out the rack, pours in the water….

    And the (admittedly old) Pyrex completely disintegrates. It literally crumbles apart around the roast, leaving (thank GOD) an island of glass for the meat to sit on, leaving broken glass all over the kitchen floor and the 400-degree oven. Thankfully the roast was fine–it was quickly put into a sheet pan–but we lost all of the good meat drippings to make a proper gravy with the meat, so I think M whipped up a balsamic reduction instead.

    • @elizabeth – THAT is your biggest kitchen disaster?! something you had no control over, resulting in leg of lamb with a balsamic reduction?!

      That’s it, I’m hanging up my apron. *pout*

  10. Undercooked turkey and overcooked goose – every freaking Thankgiving. Combine with over helpful to point the obvious dinner guests hovering in the kitchen and you have chef meltdown. I say thus year we skip the whole thing and go to Aruba.

  11. I am inherently a clutz, so failed recipes aside, my disasters usually involved dropping something. Sort of like the tray of drinks when I worked at a high end pizza place and shortly thereafter (as in 30 minutes later) was fired. Or the day I had some blogger friends coming over for dinner. Remember Aimee?

  12. We were taking three of our best friends to the beach for a week of eating, drinking and beaching. I wanted an easy dinner the night before we left town, so settled on a soy and honey marinated short rib that was cooked on the grill. Put the GORGEOUS grass-fed expensive as gold short ribs on the grill and five minutes later, when I returned, there was nothing but ash. Totally consumed by fire…. there was not one bit left.
    We had pizza for dinner.

  13. I have had a couple of culinary disasters starting as a teenager when trying to make bread rolls that have not risen properly, or I haven’t knead them properly, seriously I was in 6 grade no idea how to make bread. My father tried to be nice about it but could not swallow one so instead he decided on other uses for it like catapulting it out of our downtown apt window into neighborhood rats (there are rats in every city).

    Another problem that I often encounter living in the wooden suburbian area is bugs. I don’t know how many times I made a batter for a great cake or muffins to realize that there were white specs on it, or that something was crawling in the flour. Now I always triple check, even the flour I just brought from the store so I don’t spend an hour baking something that will end up in the sink. (garbage)

  14. When I was in college and my cuisine mostly consisted of microwaveable foods, I attempted to make spaghetti one night for my roommate and I – I figured you can’t mess up spaghetti, right? Having always watched my mom just throw the noodles into the pot, I did the same, not realizing at the time that her pot was a lot bigger than mine. So, when my much smaller pot of water began to boil, I opened a box of spaghetti noodles and tossed them all in. I walked away for a couple minutes, thinking that it would give the pasta some time to cook. Instead, when I returned, I saw that half of the pasta had spilled out of the pot and had landed in the burner, and flames were leaping from the stove. I was too frantic to do anything but scream and point, so my roommate had to put out the fire.

  15. Oh man. I didn’t know how to cook anything but macaroni and cheese and ramen noodles back when I was in college. But my Mom had sent me some recipe cards that she’d received in the mail, and one of them was for homemade chicken tenders. It looked easy enough, so I bought all my ingredients and decided to give it a shot.

    I got my chicken all diced up, soaked and dipped in flour, plopped it in the hot oil and went back to my room to take a phone call. I completely forgot about my chicken tenders until I saw a strange red reflection on the wall out in the living room. Yes, my unattended chicken tenders and hot oil had caught fire!

    I completely freaked out and forgot anything I had learned about putting out grease fires, and also that there was a little fire extinguisher under the sink, and grabbed the flaming pan off the stove and ran out the the door with it, splashing flaming grease on my foot in the process. I still have a little scar today.

    I also had to pay for a new over-the-stove microwave since I did a pretty decent job of destroying the old one with smoke damage.

    I just thanked the Lord that I didn’t burn down our apartment, and didn’t really try cooking again until after I’d graduated!

  16. I have to say it was when I was making caramel for caramel corn. Never have I had a worse moment. Note : Do not add baking soda to hot caramel when the caramel is anywhere more than halfway up your pan. I spent 3 hours chipping away at the stove, countertop, floor and god knows what else.

  17. My best kitchen disaster story is from a stint I did at the CIA (not the spy place but the cooking school). Our assignment was to make a mole sauce that takes a minimum of 5 hours to make – and we had 3. I, of course, had pored over the recipe and made changes so that I could get it done in 3 hours. Things were going great, and I was right on schedule. Our chef instructorandwas going from group to group checking on everyone’s progress. At this point, I had poured the second reduction into the blender to puree it – neglecting of course to cool it down first. So, her gets to me just as I start up the blender – and yeah, you guessed it – the blender top pretty much explodes off spewing hot mole sauce over BOTH of us. NOT my finest moment!!

  18. For our (now my husband) second date, I wanted to make Tuna casserole that I loved as a child: I did exactly what my mom told me on the phone BUT she failed to mention to add 2 cans of water with the condensed mushroom soup – the casserole was as chewy as a rubber tire. My boyfriend started eating it and I could not take more than 1 bite it was so bad. I asked him ‘ How can you eat that?’ He said ‘I am used to my mom feeding us slop’. Tears.

  19. I’d had home ec in both 7th & 8th grades in Ohio before my family moved to Florida, so when I found that it was required in 9th grade, I had to demonstrate my skills to the junior high home ec teacher. I made banana bread. It was golden brown & delicious. Just one little problem: I forgot to add the bananas. She made me her teaching assistant, anyway.

    Fast forward 40 years. I made a lovely brisket dinner for my husband & myself for Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year), and needed a dessert. I found a recipe for a fast & easy 9″ round apple cake, and even had all the ingredients! After the required baking time, I pulled it out of the oven and it looked like a round ski slope! It only rose on one side, and that side burned. The rest of it was half-raw. Hubs saw it as he passed through the kitchen and asked, “What’s that?” “Failure, dear, failure.”

  20. Scratch that. Today is a definite disaster. While I was making my previous comment I also was cooking grilled cheese sandwiches for my 2 and 4 year old girls. They got burnt. Bad enough, but when I frantically pulled the pan off the burner I, without thinking, set it on my cutting board, burning the shit of that too.

  21. Deanna permalink

    Just one of many, but the latest was my first foray into raw soup – a lovely corn chowder with red pepper and guac. All made in my handy dandy smoothie maker. The spoonful I tasted was delicious. And, then I lifted up the smoothie maker to discover that I had not screwed the bottom on tightly, and watched as my entire batch of soup spewed all over the kitchen. Do you know how far soup can fly when dumped from counter height? Really far. And pureed corn soup looks a lot like vomit.

  22. Hum, when pregnant I caught my sleeve on fire over the stove which quickly catapulted toward the rest of my fat body/belly. Husband and father-in-law rolled me. Great sight….

    Second: first time harvesting our own black walnuts which I lovingly picked, hulled, shelled, blah, blah, and baked my first dish: black walnut cookies. Husband bit into one, mmmm, and promptly broke back tooth into two. $1,000 cookie. Darn walnuts.

  23. Can I tell one on my husband? He’s a terrific cook when he’s in the mood to get in the kitchen, and in fact, he’s the one who got us both turned on to tofu, by making a recipe he’d seen – Tofu Rancheros. He must have made it a dozen times, to delicious effect every time. Until the day he decided he was going to try it on his then-best friend, a notorious anti-tofu snob. That was the day he had a brain fart. The recipe called for 2 jalapeño peppers in the sauce (and we never used to trim out the membranes and seeds). But he decided that since there would be 3 of us, he put in 3 peppers. It was so hot, I went and got the Maalox tablets and put ’em on the table, just like any other condiment.

  24. Ellen Fitz permalink

    Many, many years ago my Aunt and Uncle had a cabin up in the woods that they would let me use so I could bring friends to go skiing. I arranged one such trip and asked each person to bring a dinner to share and one girl brought a huge pot of her chili. After a long day of skiing we got back to the cabin, she heated it up, and we all sat down to eat, famished. Well the chili was awful. Actually it was beyond awful but no one wanted to hurt her feelings. We all picked and poked but we really couldn’t eat it. So here we were with this big pot of food and not sure what to do with it. There was no garbage disposal and you had to haul your trash out with you. Then I remembered there was a family of raccoons that would often visit scavenging for food so we put the pot out on the porch for them. Sure enough, later that night as we sat around the fire, we saw the three raccoons come out of the dark, up the snowy hill and they climbed up the stairs to the deck. Each one stuck their paws in to the pot and scooped out some food and began to eat. The next thing we saw was the largest raccoon turn around and start using the guardrail to scrape the food off his hands. I mean he could not get that chili off fast enough. I laughed so hard I thought I would pee my pants! Do you know how bad your chili has to be for raccoons to snub it in the dead of winter? For future trips my friend was put in charge of bringing booze.

  25. These are hilarious! I laughed out loud when Kristina said HGTV refused to work on her house because there’s too much to be done!

    Keep these stories coming!

    My biggest kitchen disaster involves Le Crueset. I wanted to roast a small chicken on a bed of vegetables in a 9X13 pan. So I did. And then when I took it out of the oven, I removed the bird and put the pan on the stove top to make the gravy. I turned around and the pan EXPLODED. I’m pretty lucky no one got hurt. The same thing happened again when I was in grad school. My roommate turned on the burner to make some tea. Being sleepy, she turned on the burner underneath a 9×13 glass pyrex pan (I don’t know why it was sitting on a gas burner). Moments later, glass shards fly out of either end of our kitchen. We watched the fireworks from the other room and were not hurt.

    It seems I should be getting a life time supply of 9×13 pans for free from somewhere, right?

  26. healthydealsnsteals permalink

    I am a kitchen disaster!!

    My last recipe carried a 12 year curse because of a kitchen disaster. You can see more by clicking here.

    I also include a running commentary of all my beautiful kitchen disasters. I’ve had some good ones. Knife through the butt….etc. Just the uncommon ones. 🙂

    enjoy reading!

  27. I don’t know if I would call it a disaster because in my my that would presume ruining a great meal and this was just chili.

    I’ve been a single mom since my kids were 2 and 6 and that required some juggling as they got a bit older and had different activities. Many evenings would see us rushing to get done with homework so I could them them each to their activities; often not in the same place so yes, sometimes a bit frazzled!

    One night that rushing meant forgetting to turn down the chili on the stove that was cooking so that we would have supper ready when we got home.

    We walked into a house so filled with smoke we could not see; with smoke alarms going off all over. It didn’t help that it was winter and we had to open all the windows and use fans to pull in fresh air…brrr.

    The worst part though? That chili had meat in it and I learned from that experience there is nothing quite as bad as a protein fire. EVERYTHING in our home had to be cleaned because a layer of film that was on everything…carpets, wall, draperies, furniture…you name it, it had to be cleaned, scrubbed and/or laundered.

    Tough lesson…but I’ll tell you this…don’t think I’ve burned anything since!

  28. I’m a personal chef and on one of my first cook days (and the first cook day of that particular client). I tried to put potato peels down the garbage disposal and it completely clogged the drain. Luckily the client was there and he was able to help me clear it without the aid of a plumber. Two weeks later, I returned for their second cook day. Towards the end of the day I turned on the disposal (just to clear the sink, because there was no way I was putting anything of substance down there again) and there was a spoon in the disposal. It brought the disposal to a grinding halt. Another trip downstairs to tell the client what I had done. Awful.

  29. I once, accidentally, used dishwashing liquid in my dishwasher, instead of dishwasher detergent. I woke up the next morning to a flooded, sudsy, kitchen floor. Does that count? I have way too many failed recipes, I could be here all day…

  30. I’ve certainly had some recipes flop, but nothing epic. I’ve burned myself a few times, because I’m a clutz!

    I do remember one time though. It was actually the day of my first date with my now husband. We were going on a double date with my best friend and some random guy. I decided to be all domestic and make a chocolate pound cake, since we were meeting at my friend’s house for dessert first, then going dancing. I baked the cake, cooled it, got it on the platter, was walking to my car, and plop! I dropped the @#$% cake in the driveway. I drove to Wal-Mart and bought some craptastic chocolate disaster. Oh well. It all turned out okay!

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